Comes with the Territory
Jul 15 – Aug 20, 2010
Rotem Balva, Roi Vaspi Yanai, Gaston Zvi Ickowicz, Nira Pereg, Joshua Neustein, and Raafat Hattab
The term “the territories” denotes in Israeli lingo the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In Israeli contemporary life, the term also triggers a set of immediate connotations that have to do with the Israeli occupation: the much of discussed Israeli settlements on Arab land, check points where soldiers monitor the comings and goings of people and merchandise, separation walls crossing the heart of the land and dispute-ridden borders. In this exhibition, however, the recurring preoccupation with territory appears in altogether different context – a private, more immediate one. How this private behaviour responds or relates to the national-collective one that seems to demand an answer. Is the personal fixation with territorial definitions that lead Israelis to harsh reality of occupation that dictates certain individual behaviour in the private sphere ? Similarly, it is interesting to consider whether this is a “universal” exhibition, in that the exhibited works share human concerns at large, or whatever the works reflect specific existential circumstances that subsequently mark this exhibition as quintessentially local.
The expression comes with the territory often refers to a habit that is intrinsic in nature, a pattern or tendency that is dictated by our surroundings. It is a tendency or ability that naturally exists paints an image of a spreading, extensioning or takeover short. The exhibited works explore these two interpretations. Whether documenting facets of reality, or using art to somehow control or alter that reality in some way, the works all stem from an incessant need to define one’s space.
Bringing together the works in photography and video of contemporary Israeli artists, the exhibition comes with the territory wishes to shed light on the daily struggle to define – and often stretch the boundaries of our territory.